FOX Orders 13 Episodes of Drama 'Backstrom' Created by Hart Hanson & Starring Rainn Wilson

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 7th, 2014

Rainn Wilson Super Soul

via press release:






Emmy Award Nominee Rainn Wilson to Star and Produce;

Based on Books by Renowned Criminologist and Novelist Leif G.W. Persson


Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) has given a 13-episode series order to BACKSTROM, a one-hour drama from 20th Century Fox Television, based on renowned Swedish criminologist and novelist Leif G.W. Persson’s hit series of books of the same name. Created and executive-produced by Hart Hanson (BONES, “The Finder”), the series centers on Detective EVERETT BACKSTROM (three-time Emmy Award nominee Rainn Wilson, “The Office”), an offensive, irascible detective, as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Throughout the series, Backstrom leads his team, the Serious Crimes Unit, as they navigate Portland’s most sensitive cases.


“Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and on-screen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like BACKSTROM to FOX,” said Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “I’ve been in business with Hart for a long time, and not only does he have a rare gift for infusing darker themes with relatable humor, he’s one of the best showrunners out there today. Together with Rainn – who absolutely nails this role and makes it a classic FOX character – I think we’ve got something really special here.”


“There are so few creators out there with the genuine ability to mix great procedural storytelling with humor, and Hart Hanson is one of those guys. Getting another show on the air with him has been a top priority of this company,” commented Twentieth Century Fox Television Chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “And getting the amazing Rainn Wilson in the title role was quite simply a coup. His ‘Backstrom’ fits perfectly into FOX’s long history of dramas centered around a bigger-than-life iconic character.”


“Naturally, all of us who worked on BACKSTROM thought it was too promising a series to die unseen and Dana and Gary were relentless in their support of the project,” added Hanson. “Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at FOX agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks FOX!”


“I couldn't be more thrilled to get a chance to dig into Detective Everett Backstrom. For an actor it's rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity. He's a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire. Truly the role of a lifetime,” noted Wilson. “Hart Hanson is an incredible writer and showrunner and I couldn't be more excited to collaborate with him. Last but not least, FOX is the PERFECT home for this fun and disturbed piece of entertainment. They are passionate about the show and I'm ecstatic to be working with Kevin Reilly again (he launched “The Office” on NBC and fought tooth-and-nail for us to stay on the air, let's not forget) and to be on the same network as my frenemy, Mindy Kaling.”


Hanson serves as executive producer on the series with Persson and Niclas Salomonsson. Emmy Award-nominated director Mark Mylod (“Entourage,” “Shameless,” “Ali G Indahouse”) served as director and executive producer on the pilot. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2014.


In the pilot episode, after the apparent suicide of a Senator’s son is ruled a homicide, the Portland Police Bureau’s Serious Crime Unit, led by Detective Backstrom (Wilson) must solve the case. Following the team’s arrival on the scene, forensics expert Sergeant PETER NIEDERMAYER (Kristoffer Polaha, “Ringer,” “Life Unexpected”) verifies that the death was indeed a homicide. This starts the trail for Backstrom and his team: Detective NICOLE GRAVELY, Detective Sergeant JOHN ALMOND (Dennis Haysbert, “The Unit,” “24”), uniformed officer FRANK MOTO (Page Kennedy, “Weeds,” S.W.A.T.”) and the tech-savvy NADIA PAQUET (Beatrice Rosen, “The Dark Knight,” “Cuts”). Together, they must follow leads, while trying to maintain a low profile in this highly scrutinized case.


Persson’s book series “Backstrom” is popular in Scandinavia, where his work has sold more than six million copies. The character has appeared in two novels so far, “Linda” and “He Who Kills The Dragon.”


BACKSTROM is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created, written and executive-produced by Hart Hanson. Leif G.W. Persson and Niclas Salomonsson serve as executive producers. Rainn Wilson and Josh Levy serve as producers. Mark Mylod directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot.


  • Eric McInnis

    Is every Office star getting a lead now? If so, then I approve. :) (Although this screams House wannabe.)

  • Charlie

    You know what this means? Bye bye Bones. Fox picked up this to soften the blow fort dumping bones. Fans can thank their creature for selling out to get Backstrom on air.

  • r0ckmypants

    Weird that a busted CBS pilot would get an order at Fox, without Fox putting it into development or anything

  • Jagger Dagger

    Will Backstrom be impish or admirable?
    Only Belsnickel knows for sure!


    Anyone who watches Grimm knows what’s going on in Portland!

  • Omega

    Just curious, where do most of you posters go too find out about proposed TV pilots? I would love to know and have have myself a good read.

  • CBSviewer

    You know what this means? Bye bye Bones.

    Or bye bye Almost Human.

  • tobes

    @omega I go to deadline

  • reidjr

    How many new shows does Fox have for next year?

  • Networkman

    I think FOX can put this on the air without cancelling Bones. X-Factor may not return so FOX will need more scripted programming unless they plan on putting 3 hours of reality in place.

    I’m not certain if this show is planning on simply airing 13 episodes per season like Sleepy Hollow or there is the possibility for FOX to pick up more episodes. Either way, I’m more excited about this show than I am for Rake.

  • KevinY

    @Omega Deadline gets the scoops but TheFutonCritic aggregates the pilot information into a very user friendly format.

  • StevenD


    As long as the cast comes back, Bones will be renewed.

    This does however make it very likely that’s Bones will stay on Friday, as it rates well and will make some good syndication money there

  • TV Addict

    Yay! I was disappointed when CBS didn’t pick this up. Good for Rainn.

  • madbengalsfan85

    This move tells me that FOX doesn’t have confidence in Almost Human

  • sara

    He’s a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire.

    And if this works out maybe they can do one about a disheveled misanthropic brilliant doctor. Maybe have him limp, too.

  • Rebooted

    My biggest question is whether Fox is loading up summer dramas, or if they’re testing the cable model this year. For dramas Fox still has:

    Rake (already has a time slot, though)
    24: Live Another Day
    Wayward Pines
    Gang Related
    maybe more (?)

    Does this mean X Factor is out??? Or is summer going to be one crowded season??? Both cases appeal to me. :)

  • Potato

    Excited to see Wilson in a drama!

  • PRW

    Gracepoint has be stated to air in the fall? Hieroglyph will likely air in the fall as well.

    As my schedules suggest, though every called me an idiot, the broadcast stations need to go to the cable year round model.

  • PRW

    Oh and screw autocorrect.

  • Bran

    I think their should be a list of picked up shows by network

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